The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is reminding passengers, importers and anyone who does business with the Agency to desist from behaving in a disorderly manner, verbally abusing or physically harming, or obstructing a Customs Official in carrying out official duties, as they may be liable for prosecution.
This reminder comes against the background of a recent incident, which took place at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, involving the assault of a Customs Official by two females, following the assessment of Customs duty. The assessment was calculated after one of the females, exceeded her US$500.00 duty-free allowance, an entitlement given to all passengers eighteen years and older. In this regard, her other items would be subject to Customs duty.
The two females were subsequently charged for ‘Obstructing a Customs Officer’, ‘Assaulting a Constable’, ‘Disorderly Behaviour’, and ‘Using Indecent Language’ and appeared before the Kingston & St. Andrew Parish Court. The Defendants pleaded guilty to three (3) offences and were each fined, $100,000.00 or three (3) months imprisonment for Obstructing a Constable, and $10,000.00 or thirty (30) days imprisonment for Disorderly Behaviour.
The JCA takes this opportunity to encourage persons to use peaceful means to resolve differences and reminds our customers that, should a disagreement arise as to the assessment of any Customs duty or charges, a request may be made for a re-assessment by a Supervisor. If they are dissatisfied with the re-assessment of the Supervisor, the JCA encourages the use of the Appeals Process through our Valuation and Verification Unit located at our head office – Myers’ Wharf, Newport East, Kingston.
We thank all our customers for their business and look forward to their cooperation.